Bob Coyne wrote:Can you summarize what you think is the strongest evidence for this particular version of E.S. Andrews? I'm assuming he's the traveling railroad agent with a possible Dalrymple connection (via Seely/Seeley)? Is there anything else in his favor that makes you think the case is so strong?
Long post, but to answer your question:
This is all discussed earlier in this thread … and is the work of Richard Hatch
and Bill Mullins (with additional information from David Ben).
E.S. Andrews was born in the right year, and was the right age for Erdnase as per Smith’s recollection of him.
E.S. Andrews lived in and around Chicago at precisely the right time, such that he would have easily been able to meet Smith, and deal with the printing, binding, and handling of the first edition.
E.S. Andrews simply reverses to S.W. Erdnase. No complex puzzles required. He didn’t want to give his actual name as the author of the book, but we know he didn’t try very hard to conceal himself (the cheque to Smith, filing the copyright, repeatedly traipsing along printers row to McKinney’s facility, etc)
E.S. Andrews had never self-published anything before, which is reflected in the somewhat loose editorial work, spelling mistakes, and errors in instruction which are scattered throughout EATCT.
Day after day, week after week, month after month for years on end … Erdnase had to have had massive amounts of time in which to come up with moves that had never before been seen by human eyes. He had to not only have had time to develop them, he would have had to have had opportunity to develop them in actual games, which mean he had to expose himself to people with money.
First as a telegraph operator for the trains, and then as a travelling agent … he had plenty of time on his hands, and endless opportunities to meet monied folks, most of whom in the late 1800's traveled by train.
Because of the vagaries of gambling, even if you’re cheating … Erdnase would have had to have had a steady source of income, during the time he was developing his “system” of moves, during the time he was testing those moves out, during the time he was writing the book, and then after he was done writing the book (which wasn’t a financial windfall for him).
All of the above are to be accomplished in spades if one spends 8, 12, or 16 hours a day, each and every day … working first in a railway telegraph office, and then as an agent onboard trains.
E.S. Andrews spent the better part of his adult life working for a train company.
As you noted, the Seely/Dalrymple connection (still under investigation) is a strong connection.
E.S. Andrews frequently has a deck of cards in his hands, as indicated by the “Mystery of the Pippens”. Going out of the way in order to note that Andrews often has to resort to the “Pippens” excuse to get out of playing cards indicates (to me) that Andrews played a heck of a lot of cards … indeed, that he was well known as a card player.
A huge chunk of the above, although factual, only means that Andrews had what would have been needed to develop his system, practice his system, write the book, and then get on with his life when the book wasn’t as successful as he no doubt wished it would have been.
The solid evidence is the perfect name reversal from E.S. Andrews to S.W. Erdnase.
Less factual as its still waiting to be fleshed out, but in many ways more compelling, is the still incomplete discussion relating to the Seely/Dalrymple connection.
Factual evidence continues with Andrews matching the features of Erdnase as Smith described them to Gardner. (although Sanders fits the bill as well - which doesn’t negate the fact that Andrews too fits the bill).
On the negative side was the fact that Andrews was married, contrary to Smiths observation … although he was a widower when he married the second time, and spent a great deal of time away from home on his own … so perhaps would have put off the “unmarried vibe” to Smith.
Regardless, Andrews being married is contrary to Smith’s observation.
There aren’t really any other negative elements to Andrews, at least such that they stand out as being worthy of note.
All in all, E.S. Andrews is the strongest candidate
amongst all the candidates when everything is taken at face value, no massaging of information is undertaken, and candidates are equally compared using the same method.
BTW, I do believe that it’s extremely likely that Gallaway knew Erdnase, to the point where he and other Mckinney employees would have known him by both of his names, Andrews and Erdnase.
If I recall correctly, this was the original impetus of Chris’s research, to investigate the relationship between S.W. Erdnase and McKinney … which may have been something more than simply a customer printing a book.
There’s more, but it’s all in previous posts in this thread … and worth looking for and re-reading.